How Do You Trim a Rose Bush?


Quick Answer

To prune roses, use a pair of high-quality pruning sheers to cut each stem at a 45-degree angle (away from new growth) to remove dead or damaged leaves, blossoms and stems (canes), keeping the center of the plant as "open" as possible to so air can circulate. Roses are typically pruned during the spring, but maintenance pruning can be conducted at any time. Regular pruning helps to ensure healthy plant growth.

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Full Answer

  1. Remove dead canes, leaves and blooms
  2. Healthy roses require consistent pruning to remove any dead tissue. Curled leaves, dying blooms and black canes should be pruned as quickly as possible to make room for healthy growth.

  3. Open the center of the plant
  4. Prune the outer edges of the rose plant back farther than the center. This creates an "open" shape that allows the center of the plant to breathe.

  5. Prune farther in the winter
  6. If rose bushes are left too long during the winter, their canes are subject to wind breakage and the excess height can cause "root lift." To avoid this, prune back roses until they are approximately two-thirds of their normal height.

  7. Dead-head blooms during the flowering season
  8. Another form of pruning, known as "dead-heading," involves removing flowers when they start to wilt. This encourages fresh growth. Pull off just the flower or prune it back to the closest healthy leaf.

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